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Judge Puts Righthaven Cases In Colorado On Hold 36

Hugh Pickens writes "Senior US District Judge John Kane says there are serious questions about the validity of Righthaven's copyright infringement lawsuits in Colorado, and has put them all on hold. Kane says the main case in which he'll rule on the jurisdiction issue is that of Righthaven defendant Leland Wolf, who was sued over a Denver Post TSA pat-down photo. Wolf's attorneys filed briefs saying that based on Righthaven's lawsuit contract with Review-Journal owner Stephens Media LLC, its lawsuit contract with the Post is likely similar, and that their contract doesn't give Righthaven standing to sue. 'Righthaven very likely is neither the owner nor exclusive holder of any rights in the copyrighted work underlying this lawsuit,' say attorneys for Wolf. 'As such, Righthaven has suffered no injury or other cognizable harm required for it to have standing.' Judge Kane says he wants to resolve that issue before proceeding. 'Because there are serious questions as to whether my exercise of subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement is proper, I think it most prudent to stay the proceedings in all pending cases in this district in which Righthaven is the named plaintiff,' wrote Kane. 'Should I find that I lack subject matter jurisdiction over Righthaven's claim of copyright infringement, it is likely that I will be required to dismiss all pending actions.'"
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Judge Puts Righthaven Cases In Colorado On Hold

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  • Re:Countersuit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20, 2011 @09:05AM (#36190640)

    Yeah. Setting up Righthaven was a nice attempt to insulate Stephens Media from the obvious backlash that was likely to come from such their aggressive attempts at extortion. One would hope that Stephens Media titles would take a PR hit for this, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part.

  • Re:Countersuit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @09:34AM (#36190982)
    The thing is, once the defendants have this ruling, the next judge will be less likely to be willing to take the cases unless Righthaven can come up with some plausible argument as to why this judge is wrong (it doesn't have to be plausible to those of us on slashdot who are more than vaguely familiar with the case, just to someone who is not familiar with the case).
    The other thing about where this judge is going is that it suggests that the "corporate barrier"* between Righthaven and its owners may be easily considered fictitious by the courts.

    *There is a legal term for this that escapes my mind at the moment.
  • Re:Countersuit (Score:4, Informative)

    by WorBlux ( 1751716 ) on Friday May 20, 2011 @10:33AM (#36191684)
    No, the ruling is based entirely on that barrier. To have standing you need to show distinct and palpable legal injury that you have suffered. Since Righthaven can't or hasn't shown any legal right specific to them, (they haven't provided any evidence that they are the exclusive copyright holder) the courts aren't allowed to proceed based on the complaint filed. The complaint may be amended to show such proof and refiled, but if such a case doesn't have such proof it, a two sentence reply should get it dismissed again.

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?